The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 23, 2014

Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

NORMAN — From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House.

It matters little that the website eventually became easier to navigate and that 7.5 million Americans have signed up for health care, ahead of Office of Management and Budget projections.

The president has defended Sebelius, saying she wasn’t sitting at a computer screen, monitoring the creation of website software. She was far more focused on whether there would be enough insurance options for people to choose among.

In short, Sebelius focused on the product but not how to deliver that product to the people efficiently and effectively. But she was responsible for both product and delivery.

The botched rollout poisoned Sebelius’ reputation. It would taint any future effort so long as she remained.

It was time to move on. The president’s new choice is OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

If confirmed, it will be up to Burwell to set a new tone and show leadership in making “Obamacare” effective. She cannot do it alone. If the administration and congressional supporters cannot help her prove that “Obamacare” is desirable and workable, it matters very little who is in charge.

— Tulsa World

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